The snow had just fallen and the wind was whisking it all across the dunes on Cape Cod. I was about 11 when I took this photo with my first camera. This is still one of my favorites.

I had just taken a photo class at the YMCA in Cambridge and our instructor got us started with non-auto cameras; he wanted us to learn how to operate the controls ourselves.

He was the official photographer of the Boston Ballet and brought the 7 or 8 students in the class to a dress rehearsal of the Nutcracker so that we could practice photographing a real ballet. It was a tremendous experience.

Afterward, in the darkroom, I made a print. He was so impressed by it he asked if he could use the negative to make a print for the ballet to give to the little who played Clara - it was her proudly holding the Nutcracker in front of her after unwrapping it on Christmas.

I have never seen that photo since, but I have the memory of all the kids in the class, and immense gift our teacher gave us when he brought us along to see how he works. It paved the way for what I do today.

Now that I'm thinking of it, I'm going to try to call him. He was a good photographer, a nice guy, and he'd probably like to know that one of his students became a pro photographer.